The perfect amount of exercise is like the holy grail of the health and wellness industry. Every fitness guru and workout addict has an opinion, and those opinions flood social media and news websites daily. With all the conflicting information out there, you might be wondering how much exercise do you need?
April 2021 by John Ford and compiled by numerous media and web sources.
Do you need to exercise every day to be healthy?
Does walking every morning count?
How much time should you spend in the weight room?
The amount of exercise you need to be healthy will vary based on your age, weight, and lifestyle. A soccer player is going to need to run more often than your grandmother, for instance. However, one thing that all fitness experts seem to agree on is that some movement is better than none.
With more and more people spending time at the office and sitting in front of a tv, the answer to this question is becoming essential to maintaining our health. Let us address some of the common concerns above to see if we can determine how much exercise you need to be healthy.
Do I Need to Work Out Every Day?
The CDC recommendations for exercise are divided by age. Younger people need to move more often and for longer than older folks. If you are in the 18-64 age range, the recommended daily movement is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity with at least two days of include muscle strengthening. That means you should be working out at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
You can break 150 down into three days for 50 minutes, but evidence suggests that consistency is better than intensity. This rule is especially true if you do not work out often. If you push your body too hard, you could cause it to go into a catabolic state. This means your body holds onto fat instead of burning it. If you started exercising because you want to lose weight, you can see how too much intense exercise might do more harm than good.
Does Walking Count?
Moderate intensity activities can include walking, as long as you are moving at a fair pace. You should still be able to talk but not sing. Water aerobics, dancing, biking, tennis, and gardening also fall into this category.
Moderate activity burns three to six times as much energy per minute as you would sitting at your desk. You will most likely break a sweat. These days you can find all sorts of exercise videos online that will fall into this category. The best part about working out at home? You can work out in your pajamas if you want to!
What About Weights?
Per the CDC’s recommendations, two of those days should include strength training which means you might want to consider a gym membership. You could find ways to do a qualifying activity at home. As anyone who has done any amount of yard work can tell you, you will most likely be sore after a day of hauling plants and gardening tools around the yard.
Strength training is all about keeping and building muscle. Twenty minutes of weights two days a week probably won’t help you bulk up, but it will help you maintain muscle tone. Lifting weights also puts you in an anabolic state, where your body is building muscle. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn. So if you are looking to start exercising to lose weight, you may want to spend more than the recommended two days in the weight room.
Practice Body Awareness
In reality, the best workout is the one that works for your body and lifestyle. It may not be a question of how much exercise do you need, but how much exercise can your body handle. You know your own body better than anyone. Practice body awareness and slowly build up your exercise until you are at the right level for your body. And don't forget to check with your doctor to make sure your workout routine is right for you.
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